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Around the PQ – Hungarian Exhibit: Donor for Promotheus

Promotheus is, in Greek Mythology, a Titan.  He stole fire and delivered it to mankind, in defiance of the will of Zeus.    As punishment for this crime, he was chained to a rock.  Every day, his liver was eaten by an eagle, after which it grew back, because of his immortality.

Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities
Donor for Promotheus. Concept and Design by Czaba Antal. Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute. Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities. Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography

In these pictures, you see the Hungarian exhibit for the Prague Quadrennial, displayed next to the USA exhibit at St. Anne’s Church.    It is titled Donor for Promotheus, and was designed by Czaba Antal.

The installation is intended to support organ donation, specifically seeking both liver donars and monetary contributions to support liver transplants.

Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities Photo: Maundy Mitchell PhotographyThe exhibit itself is beautiful and powerful to look at.   Four tall metal towers stand around a circular floor treatment engraved with Latin.   The towers have regularly spaced holes in them, in which are set what appear to be animal skulls (I assume eagle skulls)   A copper-colored metal shell, shaped like a man, is suspended from chains winched to the four towers.

Donor for Promotheus. Concept and Design by Czaba Antal. Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute. Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities. Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography

Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography
Donor for Promotheus. Concept and Design by Czaba Antal. Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute. Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities. Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography

When the exhibit is operated, cranks  are turned by white-clad operators, who slowly move the giant copper man-shape into position.    The chains make a marvelous clanking noise as they are winched.

The shell of the man has an enormous gash in his side, where his liver should be.

Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography
Donor for Promotheus. Concept and Design by Czaba Antal. Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute. Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities. Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography

Once he is in position, one of the operators carefully fills the suspended metal form with molten silver metal.   It is heated from below, and is carefully worked around inside the shell to keep it spread evenly.

Czaba Antal tells me that the metal is an alloy of some kind, and that it has a melting point of 160 degrees Celsius.  More than that, he will not say.

 

 

Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography
Donor for Promotheus. Concept and Design by Czaba Antal. Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute. Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities. Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography
Donor for Promotheus Concept and Design by Czaba Antal Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography
Donor for Promotheus
Concept and Design by Czaba Antal
Curator of the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute
Main Sponsor: Ministry of Human Capacities
Photo: Maundy Mitchell Photography

Matt Kizer

Matt Kizer lives with his wife and son in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He is the resident scenic and lighting designer for Plymouth State University, where he has been the head of the design and technology program since 1996. He is a regular designer for Papermill Theatre, a regional company in Lincoln, NH. He has designed often for the Educational Theatre Collaborative, which produces both traditional and original musicals, as well as for Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT) Company in New London, a childrens’ theatre company, specializing in new works. Productions include, A You and Me World, winner of the Moss Hart Award for Children’s Theatre, and Mail to the Chief, which was invited for performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He serves as a guest designer for Auburn University in Alabama. He served as faculty lighting designer for Operafestival Di Roma in Italy, where he designed lighting for L’elisir di amore and The Magic Flute, both produced with the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’ International Chamber Ensemble at Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza in central Rome. He has designed for dance and movement in Potsdam, Germany at T-Werk in Schiffbauergasse with A-Fortiorni. He has designed for Barnstormers Theatre, White River Theatre Festival in Vermont, and for dance companies, theatres, and colleges in New England, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana. He specializes in projections and HTML tools for theatre and theatre education. He serves as webmaster and as a contributor for BroadwayScene.com, AllTicketsInc.com, BroadwayIQ.com, and BroadwayEducators.com. He holds a BA in Theatre from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Design from The Ohio State University.